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Broncos blow Roosters away
An explosive encounter at Suncorp Stadium saw the NRMA Insurance Brisbane Broncos run away with a 32-8 win over the red-hot Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
Last minute changes from the Broncos saw David Mead earn his club debut in place of an injured Corey Oates, while Herman Eseese and Alex Glenn’s early season form was rewarded with call starting spots.
Both teams threw everything at each other in a frantic first half of football, the Broncos holding on to a narrow 14-8 lead at the break.
Ben Hunt finished off what looked to be a remarkable Brisbane try in the 46th minute, only to be denied by a contentious late call for a forward pass.
This was soon forgotten when Korbin Sims crashed over from close range to extend the margin to 20-8.
It was the perfect response from the benched front-rower, whose strong carries helped turn the tide in the second half.
Kodi Nikorima made his highly-anticipated return from shoulder surgery in the 48th minute.
The livewire utility played the remaining 32 minutes at halfback after Hunt left the field with a hamstring complaint.
It took a monumental defensive play from Andrew McCullough to save a certain try in the 57th minute.
Michael Gordon backed up a Daniel Tupou break and was brought down just short of the line by a diving McCullough ankle-tap.
James Roberts looked threatening all game and put the game to bed with a 71st minute try.
The Broncos added insult to injury with another late try through Mead, who was impressive in his first game.
Jordan Kahu’s missed sideline conversion spoiled an otherwise flawless goal kicking performance in a dominant 24-point victory.
Earlier, McCullough’s rich vein of try-scoring form continued, darting out of dummy half to open the scoring in the fourth minute.
Isaac Liu may have a case to answer for at the judiciary after he was penalised for a shoulder charge on McGuire directly in front of the posts.
The Broncos opted to kick for goal and Kahu converted for an eight-point lead.
Brisbane was on fire in the early stages, opening up the Roosters’ defence at will, but failed to capitalise on a mountain of possession in good field position.
The visitors looked rattled until a beautiful Luke Keary short ball put Mitch Aubusson through a hole in the 17th minute and the veteran second-rower raced away to score.
Three minutes later, Blake Ferguson shrugged off a soft defensive effort from Tatau Moga and strolled across to score the Roosters’ second try.
Gordon’s kicking woes from the right touchline continued, missing both attempts from out wide to keep the scores locked at 8-all.
Relegated to the bench, a fired-up Sam Thaiday came on and scored with his second touch of the football in the 24thminute.
Anthony Milford double pumped at the line, holding the pass up just long enough to attract an extra defender and send Thaiday steaming through a gap to edge Brisbane back in front 14-8.
Daniel Tupou looked to have levelled the scores before halftime when he scooped up a loose pass from the Broncos close to their line.
To the relief of the home crowd he was denied after a lengthy review, replays showing the ball had brushed the fingertips of Latrell Mitchell and travelled forward.
The Broncos seem to have regained their attacking mojo and were back to their best ahead of the Good Friday local derby against the Gold Coast Titans.
Brisbane Broncos 32 (A McCullough, S Thaiday, K Sims, J Roberts tries; J Kahu 6 goals) defeated the Sydney Roosters 8 (M Aubusson, B Ferguson tries) at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.
Half-Time: Broncos 14-8.
Congrats @tony_milford this weeks @maccas MOTM thanks to the new Bronco Burger supporting families with sick kids pic.twitter.com/6LmoXNDlYH
— Brisbane Broncos (@brisbanebroncos) April 6, 2017